On the truffle route in Vaucluse
“Black diamond” mission
The Vaucluse is the leading black truffle producer in France, with 500 truffle growers, all passionate about the mystery of the Tuber Melanosporum. They are very down to earth and are waiting for us to come and see them so they can tell us about the secrets of this irresistible mushroom, and share their treasure hunt with us when the time comes. I decide to set out on the trail of the “rabasse”, as truffles are called locally, with professionals in Vaucluse. Between tastings and events, en route for truffle tourism and the “Black diamond” mission!
The Institut de la truffe
At Plantin, specialist and supplier to fine dining restaurants
The black diamond has been part of the Plantin family’s history for almost 70 years. To such an extent that this Vauclusian company today supplies the best fine dining restaurants in France and exports its products around the world.
It branched out into the private market a year ago, as many people are ever more curious about authentic and local products.
I explored the Institut de la Maison Plantin In Puyméras, where all the products showcase the Art of the Truffle together. The shop decor resembles the precious mycorrhised mushroom, with darker and lighter touches filling grooves in perfect visual harmony. The culinary stage setting served by fine materials, like wood and cast iron, is sophisticated and elegant. The whole aspires to be inspiring. From the pâtés to the flavoured condiments, seasonings to chocolates, the truffle finds its place in each tasty preparation. My head turning from the fragrance filling the space, I can’t say no to trying some of the delectable products. What about you, have you tried some yet?
Maison Plantin regularly organises cooking (and gourmet!) classes focussing on the truffle, but also mushrooms, also knowing how to heighten their flavours (like morels).
Musée de la Truffe et du vin in Richerenches
This time you can take as long as you like discovering the famous mushroom as the Truffle and Wine Museum has been established in the vaulted cellars of a former command post of the Knights Templar.
The open stonework and the arches marking the limit between each space give this place a very warm ambiance.
Literature, interactive terminals and educational panels explain the local history and treasures of the truffle. And entrance is free!
As the star product of this little village in the Enclave-des-Papes area, the black truffle is honoured on the 3rd Sunday in January each year. A mass is devoted to it, there are walks, and a lovely festival given in honour of the truffle growers!
Cavage de la Truffe du Ventoux in Monteux
Now we’re going to the estate of the Jaumard family in Monteux, truffle producer in the Ventoux for 3 generations.
I have an appointment for a “cavage” (truffle hunting) session with Baptiste Jaumard and his dog. Baptiste and his brother inherited their parents’ passion for the profession, and Baptiste joined the adventure after he finished studying. Today the family business is complete and centred around the truffle: its production, making products using truffles and agrotourism activities (truffle hunting, discovery days and truffle weekends).
The truffle hunting experience is amazing. The dog has replaced the less than careful pig when hunting, and its ability is rock solid, never getting it wrong!
Did you know?
Truffles can also be detected by a particular species of fly which, attracted by the irresistible odour (even though it is underground), makes its nest near where the truffle is growing.
Booking: www.truffes-jaumard.com (in french)
25 minutes from Avignon via the D907 then D225 then D942
Address: 634 Chemin du Traversier – 84170 Monteux
From mid-November to mid-March
La Maison de la truffe et du vin
A pretty estate at Ménerbes
Accommodated in a beautifully-renovated 17th century private mansion, the Truffle and Wine House is a fun place for individual visitors to learn about the truffle and a training space for professionals and enthusiasts.
From November to March, you can join truffle hunting workshops.
I cannot recommend enjoying a special truffle menu highly enough and letting your sommelier’s perfectly chosen wine list guide you.
The shop is open every day from 10am to 5pm.
Musée de la Truffe du Ventoux © Hocuqel
The Ventoux Truffle Museum in Monieux introduces you to the mushroom’s secrets thanks to a highly colourful literature space and a multisensory table to get to know the textures and aromas of the Tuber Melanosporum.
TOP 5 truffle recipes
The Pays de Grignan-Enclave des Papes Tourist Office shares 5 simple and flavourful truffle recipes. Delicious!